The Classic Club (760-601-3600, classicclubgolf.com) in Palm Desert made its debut at this year’s Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, giving the pros fits—the scores averaged right around par. An abundance of water and some narrow landing areas on this Arnold Palmer design will keep you honest, while the stillness of the desert and the sweeping mountain views will soothe any bruised egos. Escena Golf Club (866-557-8870, escenagolf.com) is the centerpiece of the first new residential golf community in Palm Springs proper in nearly twenty years. The course, which opened in November 2005, is a wide-open Nicklaus Design affair, forgiving without being facile. The conditions are superb year-round, and the greens fees top off at $115, a veritable bargain around here.
The Mod Resort (888-663-1970, modresort.com) opened in March 2006 on a quiet street in Palm Desert just off the main drag. It may have just fourteen rooms, but the place is already generating Hollywood buzz for its intimate setting and prime location. Owner Laura Slipak is a Malibu fashion designer turned hotelier, and her eye for campy decor has transformed the old Desert Patch Inn into the sleekest boutique hotel in the area. The Mod is just steps away from the high-end El Paseo shopping district and within ten minutes of the desert’s best golf.